« remember lisa | Main | milking the cheney thing for all it's worth »

Acid Rain: Fighting Against the Black Cloud of the Left

Every morning I wake up with the intention of writing something positive here; something non-war, non-politics related. But no sooner do I start thinking about movies or comic books or home repair stories when it all disappears. I read my mail, read some blog posts, check the news and other sites. The negativity crawls back. Not my negativity, but that of others, whose black cloud vibes seep out of their web pages, filter out of my monitor and do a slow crawl above my head, where the cloud will perch most of the day. Most days, I try to dispel the cloud, make it go away. I try to poke holes in it, but this only serves to let the acid rain flow and I'm left feeling a bit radioactive. Glowing with the power of ire, you could say. It's becoming impossible to stave off the negativity. Even if I hold off on reading the news and blogs, it's everywhere. I see it on bumper stickers, I overhear it at the pharmacy, I'm confronted with it on the radio. Today, I am thinking about Maha Alattar, who I listened to on WABC radio yesterday as John Gambling filled in for Sean Hannity. Maha was born and raised in Iraq. She left that country for the United States in 1983. You can read her story here. Yesterday, she spoke about her hopes for Iraq and all her relatives that are still there. She mentioned that she lost cousins in this war, but that she still finds the war necessary in order to preserve Iraq's future. She talked about young girls with a chance to have a life like her own. She talked about life under Saddam, about young men stolen away in the middle of the night, about children never heard from again. Maha is filled with hope. She already sees changes and even the simple ones, like young Iraqis using the internet to communicate with the world is something that she feels bodes well for the future of her homeland. It's a freedom she never had as a teenager. It's a step forward. But others, who have never been in Maha's shoes, would pour cold water on her hopes and dreams. They will speak only of death and destruction, only of darkness and hopelessness. They never see the silver lining because their cloud is always, only black. And the acid rain falls. Today I am thinking about three Iraqi brothers; Omar, Mohammed and Ali. They talk about Iraqi freedom, about things going on in their country that you don't see in the mainstream media. Then I think about those who doubt the veracity of these three brothers, all of whom have lived under Saddam's reign. I read words that cause my blood pressure to rise, doubts that the brothers exists, or that if they do, their words don't really matter. It is the voice of denial coming from the left. If it does not fit their agenda, it cannot be true. And more rain falls. Today I am thinking about the presidential campaign. Not the official campaign, but those being run by the supporters of either candidate. There's a line from a favorite song of mine by Bill Nelson that says build on hope, hope lasts forever. That's what I'm looking for. Hope. And then I read about an ad being run in The Nation. That image is the first thing you see when you go to this site. I cringe and watch the black cloud loom larger. Another drop of acid rain falls, and I'm feeling radioactive. I think of the soldiers who are fighting this war for us, the soldiers who believe in what they are doing and are proud do to it, the soldiers who see the good things in Iraq. And then I think of those who oppose these soldiers, those who try to tell the soldiers what they are doing wrong, those who cry for them to desert, to run away, those who call them baby killers. The black cloud hovers, sways in the breeze and drops some more rain. I think about September 11, 2001. I remember the terror, the fear, the overwhelming grief, some of which is still with me today. Two and half years later, there has not been another attack on US soil. Our homeland has not been attacked since that day. I feel confident that future attempts at attacks will be foiled. I feel confident that the war on terrorism will be won. Yet there are those who spew venom on a daily basis in the form of tall tales. Bush planned 9/11. Bush made it happen. These are the same people who practically wish for another attack to happen, just so Bush can be blamed and lose the election. Of course, in the same breath these people will tell you that Bush is actually planning another attack on our country, so people will rally behind him again. A lie is a lie is a theory. Either side of the mouth talks as fast as the other. Here comes that rain again. I think about my country. United we stand, divided we fall. I heard that a lot in my youth and it was a sentiment I truly believed in. I still do. Unfortunately, that sense of unity I once felt is gone. We truly are a nation divided. It's not a fringe thing, because I see and hear on a daily basis words from moderates and mainstream liberals that used to be used only by the fringe elements of their political parties. Perhaps the far right is engaging in these tactics as well. I don't know because I don't pay any attention to them. But I do pay attention to the left if only for the very fact that they hate me. And if you think like me, they hate you, too. They have declared themselves my enemy and, as such, I am obligated to pay attention to them. I imagine them as anger personified; a massive swarm of bad feelings and bitterness, all shouts and shrill screeches and phasers set on stun. They come at me (and when I say me, I mean anyone who is planning on voting for Bush) every day and no matter how I try to repel them, they will not back off. They are immune to facts, to truth, to reasoning. They beat you back with the only weapons they have: denial and distorted truth. No matter how many Iraqis you throw at them, they won't believe a word spoken by them. No matter how many statistics you hit them with, they will deny each one to the very end. No matter how much good news you give them, they will search out any tidbit of bad news to fight back with. They don't want to hear good news. It defeats their purpose. Give them a soldier telling them the truth and they will stick their fingers in their ears. What makes me so different from them, you ask? Well, while they are totally negative, I'm not totally positive. I recognize flaws within my party. I recognize the faults of George Bush. I don't deny that there are some days the news out of Iraq is disheartening. They won't say anything that strays from the basic tenet of their movement, which is: If it's good for Bush, it's bad for us. Their chants and mantras are nothing but bashing; their fight songs are funeral dirges. They are like goth teens gone wild. Death, despair, life sucks because you made it that way. What also makes me different is my hope. I think of the future of Iraq and I envision thousands of Maha Alattars, girls becoming doctors, lawyers, equals and not having to sneak out of their country to do it. I think of Omar, Mohammed and Ali and how many young Iraqi men will follow in their footsteps, but do so without fear of being kidnapped in the middle of the night. It gives me hope not only for the people of Iraq, but for the people of America and the rest of the world as well. Start with one country, let the other willingly follow. Some day we might see a free world. If we don't, perhaps our children or grandchildren will. It is not fair of us to sit here and think only of us and our time on this planet. We must set the pace for the future. Obviously, I think George W. Bush is the person who can help us set that pace for the future. I think he's the only who has the vision to look forward; a vision that includes the rest of the world, not just the U.S. It would be wrong to not consider the entire world, as the fate of the world is our fate as well. I'm starting my own campaign for George W. Bush and it will have no black clouds. I'm going to build on hope, because hope lasts forever. So can pessimism, if you let it. Don't let it.

TrackBack

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Acid Rain: Fighting Against the Black Cloud of the Left:

» Of Life in the US, June 2004 from Fresh Bed Goodness
[Read More]

» Of Life in the US, June 2004 from Fresh Bed Goodness
[Read More]

» Most "Journalists" don't know the 1001 things you can do with a boar's penis... from Who Tends the Fires
The Daily Spam! Don't look at it as "coarsening the dialogue". Look at it as being "civility challenged"... [Read More]

» Left's Hate for Bush Now Clearly Constitutes Psychosis from HOG ON ICE
He Eats Babies I meant to link to this great post of Michele's, but I forgot: Acid Rain: Fighting Against... [Read More]

» Next Stop: Vomitoriums from e-Claire
or is it vomitoria? Seen this? We've all been so well trained to undervalue our "commercial, shallow" American culture that we don't even see the deeper, useful, valuable parts to be proud of anymore. By now, no one is willing... [Read More]

» Here comes the rain again. from On The Third Hand
This post by Michele (of A Small Victory) is a must read for all those of us who are feeling down and discouraged by the constant pounding of negativity. 'Acid rain' she calls it. Hope is her rainbow. Make it yours too. [Read More]

Comments

Very well put. I often wonder how some of these folks can gather the energy to rise out of bed in the morning, much less type a blog entry. I don't think I could do it if I were living in such a hopeless, bitter world.

Keep fighting the fight, michele. I know, just one more encouraging voice amidst an ostensible sea of opposition may not do much to make you feel better. But I really appreciate what you're doing here, and have for a while. So just keep swinging. To quote Eric Draven from "The Crow"--'it can't rain all the time.'

Paz y gracia.

"I often wonder how some of these folks can gather the energy to rise out of bed in the morning..."
That's kind of the point - they don't write up their own stuff, they just swoop in like seagulls and crap on everyone elses. I've come to the same kind of conclusion that Michele has, that all they want to do is demoralize enough people that the apathy kicks in and their side "wins" by default. It's "The Art of War" by the textbook - item number 1 - try to get your "enemy" (in this case "us") to feel so bad we won't even fight. And the onslought is hard to put up with. But remember this - look at the alternative. Close your eyes and put yourself back to September 11. Watch your reaction as you see it on TV, or are frantically hitting the refresh key in your browser, or are stuck in traffic staring at your radio.

That's what their position led to, either directly or indirectly, and now it's what they want us to blame ourselves for. For me, it ain't gonna happen.

Great post Michele, it put into words the feelings i feel for why i need to vote for Bush in November.

The basic difference between me and some of the Left is that to me it is politics, to them it's their religion.
The mainstream Left, the Joe Lieiebermans, the Ed Kochs, think I'm wrong about how to get what's best for the country, as I think they are wrong. They do, however, think that I want what's best for the country even though, in their view, I'm wrong. I think that they're wrong, I do not think they don't want what's best.
We agree about the goals, we disagree how to get there.
That other Left, though, thinks that I'm evil. When I open my mouth I'm not arguing politics, I'm committing blasphemy.
It's worse for you, Michele, I've always been conservative, you are an apostate. I'm only evil. You are The Enemy.
In the Spanish Inquisition the worst tortures were not reserved for the secret Jews or Muslims, they were reserved for those suspected of apostasy.
That's why it was your info posted, rather than someone's who has always been conservative.

Remember Ghostbusters II? I think of the pink slime running within the old pneumatic transit system in New York, a sludge that carries all of the evil, bad vibes within its innards.

If that were true, the slime problem is more widespread. It seems to be flowing under media buildings, college campuses, and left-wing enclaves.

It seems to be poisoning the water system.

We need to find an antidote.

TV (Harry)

Very well put. Basic human respect and the right to agree to disagree should always still be intact at the end of the day.

Then I think about those who doubt the veracity of these three brothers. . . . I read words that cause my blood pressure to rise, doubts that the brothers exists, or that if they do, their words don't really matter.

Do they really matter? I have doubts myself, and hearing that the new Iraqi police have decided to focus their energies on attacking U.S. troops instead of the Zarqawi boys isn't helping any. We'll find out soon enough how much they matter.

I'm starting my own campaign for George W. Bush and it will have no black clouds. I'm going to build on hope, because hope lasts forever. So can pessimism, if you let it. Don't let it.

Too late, babe. Fire with fire.

One thing is for sure. This is a defining moment for America. Voters have a stark choice and will decide the course of American foreign policy for a generation.

I'm with you on the "hope" thing, but it needs to be accompanied by some realism...the fact is we're poised on the edge of a new dark age. Beat back the forces of that darkness, or succumb to the long night. That's the choice we have. --s

Michele,

They will speak only of death and destruction, only of darkness and hopelessness. They never see the silver lining because their cloud is always, only black.

Who are these people you are talking about? I read a lot of lefty blogs and I just don't see this. Now, I'll admit there is not a lot of happy, hopeful commentary, but I don't see much super doom and gloom either. Maybe you should switch to reading some better lefty blogs. I think you're really getting a bad view of the left if you just look for people who hate you and think you're the enemy. If I was in charge, I'd kick these people out :).

They are immune to facts, to truth, to reasoning. They beat you back with the only weapons they have: denial and distorted truth.

Personally, I think this should be a basic criteria for deciding to patronize a blog. If the blogger is steadfastly immune to facts, there's no reason to read that blog. There's lots of selection out there where you can find people who can make the same points without the childish pretense of needing their side to be perfect.

Don't let the bastards get you down! Thanks for the post. The bad news gets to us all. We have to look harder to find the good.

Also, thanks for the post of the pictue of the Vice President yesterday. I may pass it along today in my blog.

Wading Through The Mire

Michele, excuse me, but your post previous to this one ("Remember Lisa") was not exactly what I would call "positive." You wish a child murderer the worst fate possible.
Fine, I have no problem with that, but don't post something like that and pretend that you don't contribute to the negativity by dwelling on dark thoughts. You're like the people who harrassed the FCC after the Super Bowl, claiming that pop culture was debased, and then continued watching America's Most Wanted.

You wanna dispel the cloud? Stop defending George Bush's unnecessary war.
You think the Bush campaign, led by Karl Rove--a man who spread cruelly false rumors about John McCain in order to win the South Carolina primary 4 years ago--is

"I don't know because I don't pay any attention to them."

Michele, George Bush IS the Far Right.

Wake up.

You really believe Bush is a compassionate conservative, when he cuts health benefits for veterans?
(see http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/1222-01.htm) Or when he hands governing authority to Iraqis but the new law says Americans in Iraq are immune from prosecution?

Liberals have hope too. It's just that we are a bit less naive now that your neocon cabal in Washington has applied their militant Kill Them All preemption policy to the Middle East. I kept my mouth shut after 9-11 and gave George the benefit of the doubt, but he ruined my trust, and the fact that a woman as intelligent as you can continue to trust him after all he has done just demonstrates how far removed some are from reality. Bush is the "only one who has the vision to look forward"?

Who's the real moonbat?

I don't hate you, by the way. Not that you or anyone else here will believe that. I'm as frustrated as you that conservatives like yourself won't pick up a damn history book and do some research and get some perspective.

My prediction (since you know I like to predict things) is that everyone in your audience will show "Basic human respect and the right to agree to disagree" by calling me an asshole, and you'll ban me from this site.
Happy blogging.

great post, Michele.

I wonder, when I hear people bash other candidates, other political positions, etc., whether the person doing the bashing has anything to bring to the table, or if they are just nay-saying because they don't have anything constructive to contribute.

As for Allah's comment about "fighting fire with fire," no, I don't necessarily think so. My father, talking about some of the people he voted for in the past, even though he knew they had a slim chance of winning, said "It's better to do the right thing and lose, than to do the expedient thing and win"

I'd rather see you go down pointing out the U.S. military folks who are training Iraqi men for new careers, or women like Maha who are filled with hope, or the fact that we HAVEN'T seen an attack on U.S. soil since 9/11 than to see you go down trying to fight the gloom and doomers with their own toxic weapons.

Liberals have hope too. It's just that we are a bit less naive now that your neocon cabal in Washington has applied their militant Kill Them All preemption policy to the Middle East.

egad, Brad. Talk about people who need to get some perspective. Have we killed them all?

Clearly, then, our policy is a failure.

Michele,

Don't let them get you down. The goal of terrorism is to demoralize. The goal of the trolls is the same. They read slanted propaganda, regurgitate it as Truth and try to trash any who refuse to swallow the party line.

Seriously, you should feel honored that they are so afraid of you that they have to try to attack you continuously.

BTW, here's a riddle:

q. How do you know a leftist is moving into conspiracy theory?

a. He/she uses the term "neocon cabal" in a sentence.

Brad:

When you make the claim that the reason why some of us continue to support Bush, despite our many criticisms of his administartion, is due to pure apathy or ignorance...well...we want to tell you to fark off.

If you want us to respect your positions, perhaps you should start by coming to the realization that we Bush supporters, whether we be liberal, moderate or conservative, have arrived at our convictions by way of reason and sincere reflection.

I have many criticisms of the current administration, and if Kerry wasn't running, I might very well not vote Republican this year. I have taken note of Kerry's policy positions, when he chooses to have one, and decided that his view of how our foreign and domestic policies should work would be an unmitigated disaster for this nation. I am not a member of the faithful. I am not a blind follower. I know damn well that Bush has many faults, thank you very much. Pretty much all of the regular comment posters here appear to be self-aware critical thinkers, and if you can't at least acknowledge that and respect it, then why should we show any respect for you in turn?

Lastly, when you declare that the administration is part of some kind of "neocon cabal", well, that's just childish. It was under the Clinton administration that regime change became our nation's official policy towards Iraq. It was under the Clinton administration that our warfighting plans against then-existing Iraqi military forces were drawn up. I have many criticisms of Clinton, but I will acknowledge that the initiatives his administration pursued were critical to the overwhelming success of the initial stages of the campaign. If you are going to continually repeat the most recent version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to us, you'll have to forgive us for thinking that you are an intellectually stunted, fundamentalist moron.

I think Clinton was an overgrown child, who thoroughly abused his office and deserved impeachment. I do now, however, think the man was evil. I can look back and say that even as a Republican, the man was merely misguided, and that during his administration many positive foreign and domestic policies were implemented. I find the man unpleasant, and perhaps pitiable, but not evil, and not an enemy.

I cannot speak for Michele, but I imagine she would agree that Clinton is not evil or an enemy as well. For that matter, her regular commentators, many of whom appear to be disaffected liberals, probably would agree. That, my friend, is why I pity you.

Damn, I meant, "I do not, however, think the man was evil."

Hmm...Freudian slip? Eh...I still say Clinton did have many positive qualities, even if I desperately wanted him out of office at the time.

Brad,

You treat many of us conservatives as ignorant: "conservatives like yourself won't pick up a damn history book and do some research and get some perspective"... I will go out on a limb and will bet that I have read far more history books than you. The problem you may have is that most historians are liberals, so it takes some critical thought to separate the facts from the editorial slant of the author.

BTW, may want to work on your reading comprehension, the article you link to show that the VA benefits were cut in 1995 UNDER CLINTON, not Bush.

Gregory Litchfield:

I have taken note of Kerry's policy positions, when he chooses to have one, and decided that his view of how our foreign and domestic policies should work would be an unmitigated disaster for this nation.

What policy positions exactly? When has John Kerry choosen to 'not' have one? It's my understanding that President Bush is now attempting to implement the foreign policy that Kerry proposed (working with Europe and the UN, etc) and Kerry's main claim is that our allies will react better to him then they are reacting to President Bush (which strikes me as a naive argument ... nations tend to act in their own interest, not based on the personality of the man requesting action). As for domestic policy, I don't see how you can get away from making one of these two points either 1) presidents do not have a great deal of effect on the economy or 2) President Bush has not exactly done a bang-up job on the domestic policy.

I think Clinton was an overgrown child, who thoroughly abused his office and deserved impeachment.

Based on what?

Michele,

You have probable already seen this, but if not, here is an editorial by Ed Koch, criticizing Michael Moore and his new movie,that is say pretty much the same thing you are: http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/breaking_2.html

Brad, you always post well thought out comments, but end them in typical asshole fashion.

My prediction (since you know I like to predict things) is that everyone in your audience will show "Basic human respect and the right to agree to disagree" by calling me an asshole, and you'll ban me from this site. Happy blogging.

What is your basis for this prediction. In all my three plus years of blogging, I've banned two people from this site. Stop ending your arguments with baseless accusations, Brad. They demean you.

Does anyone else find it somewhat amusing, given the topic at hand, that Brad's blog is titled, "Sad Parade"? Just asking...

Brad, I, for one, do not in the least think you're an asshole. Misguided, perhaps, but not an asshole. You'd need to make more sarcastic statements about michele being naive and completely removed from reality, before I'd think anything like that.

Soli: you said, "presidents do not have a great deal of effect on the economy." Really? That's interesting. And all this time, I thought Kerry was telling us that Bush ruined our economy. Hmmm. I'll have to think about that for a while. But thanks for making that point.

Michele, excuse me, but your post previous to this one ("Remember Lisa") was not exactly what I would call "positive." You wish a child murderer the worst fate possible. Fine, I have no problem with that

Brad, did you read ALL of Michele's post?

She said "What makes me so different from them, you ask? Well, while they are totally negative, I'm not totally positive. "

but don't post something like that and pretend that you don't contribute to the negativity by dwelling on dark thoughts.
You're like the people who harrassed the FCC after the Super Bowl, claiming that pop culture was debased, and then continued watching America's Most Wanted.

What? You have some sort of information that the SAME people who "harrassed" the FCC a) claimed that "pop culture was debased," (as opposed to being pissed off about Janet Jackson's booby-showing stunt) are b)continuing to watch America's Most Wanted, a show about catching wanted criminals?

Brad, THAT ARGUMENT MAKES NO SENSE.

You wanna dispel the cloud? Stop defending George Bush's unnecessary war.

See, Michele, all you have to do to dispel the cloud is come around to our buddy Brad's way of thinking. Abandon your beliefs. Change your mind about your principles. And magically the cloud will lift.

I suppose that's true, in its own way. Brad might stop posting his messages on your site. Maybe he's got a point.

Conform with the left, Michele. Become one with them, and they will stop hating you.

You think the Bush campaign, led by Karl Rove--a man who spread cruelly false rumors about John McCain in order to win the South Carolina primary 4 years ago--is

Is... is... what? Better with peanut butter? Darth Vader's son? A hunka hunka burnin' love? Secretly a Mets fan?

"I don't know because I don't pay any attention to them." Michele, George Bush IS the Far Right.

Brad, compared to you, LENIN is the Far Right (don't know why Brad capitalized that, but, hey, when in doubt...). I mean, I don't suppose there's any point at all in me, a conservative, telling you Bush is NOT far right. It's not like you're going to take my word for it.

Wake up.

C'mon, Michele, conform. You won't know true happiness until you believe as Brad does, in "neo-con cabals"

You really believe Bush is a compassionate conservative, when he cuts health benefits for veterans? (see http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/1222-01.htm) Or when he hands governing authority to Iraqis but the new law says Americans in Iraq are immune from prosecution?

Y'see, Michele, since you lack Brad's utter hatred for Bush and everything he stands for, the cause of your pain is obvious. Give in to your hate.

Don't you see? Bush isn't just a politician, he's EVIL. He's the Dark Lord of the Sith. He wants to exterminate Arabs, siphon the Middle East for oil, and burn puppies.

Liberals have hope too. It's just that we are a bit less naive now that your neocon cabal

Did I call that or what?

in Washington has applied their militant Kill Them All preemption policy to the Middle East.

If US policy in the ME is to "kill them all," shouldn't we be, y'know, killing them all? That would be implied, I would think.

If it is the "neocon cabal's" goal, they're NOT doing a very good job of it. At this rate, we'll never manage to kill 'em all.

I kept my mouth shut after 9-11 and gave George the benefit of the doubt

Brad, I DON'T BELIEVE YOU. I doubt very much you ever gave Bush the benefit of the doubt. You show much too much paranoia and hatred for someone who is willing to give those you oppose the benefit of the doubt.

but he ruined my trust, and the fact that a woman as intelligent as you can continue to trust him after all he has done just demonstrates how far removed some are from reality.

By "some," he means "you," Michele. And me. And anyone who supports the war. Yes, according to Brad, we're "removed from reality." I suppose if we accepted what you wrote, we'd cease to be such, right Brad?

Bush is the "only one who has the vision to look forward"?

Of the clowns currently running for president? Yeah, pretty much.

Who's the real moonbat?

Let's see... Michele isn't talking about "neocon cabals." You are. Hmm, I'd have to say you are the moonbat, Brad.

I don't hate you, by the way. Not that you or anyone else here will believe that.

No, Brad, you don't hate her. What you feel is WORSE than hate. It's a complete lack of respect for those who disagree with you on political issues.

I'm as frustrated as you that conservatives like yourself won't pick up a damn history book and do some research and get some perspective.

You want to know something, Brad? I have in my living room, FOUR LARGE BOOKSHELVES FULL OF HISTORY BOOKS.

Four, Brad. I've been studing history for most of my adult life. I've forgotten more about it than most people ever learn. And I love this attitude of yours that if we cracked open a history book we'd come around to your way of thinking. As if history was an arrow pointing to certain preset conclusions. Apparently you think that if we were as enlightened as you we'd HAVE to accept what you say.

My prediction (since you know I like to predict things) is that everyone in your audience will show "Basic human respect and the right to agree to disagree" by calling me an asshole,

You poor soul. You drop in here, show complete contempt for the beliefs of everyone here, and then are going to whine about being insulted?

I was one of the original people (as "Evil Otto") who called you an asshole, Brad. So far you've done very little to change my mind.

and you'll ban me from this site. Happy blogging.

See, everyone, because Michele ALWAYS bans people who disagree with her. Just like she's done... well, OK, to my knowledge she's NEVER done that, but Brad just knows that he's going to be the first.

As for "basic human respect," Brad, why don't you show some? Stop assuming that people who disagree with you are historically ignorant and "removed from reality." Drop your paranoid references to neocons.

In other words, Brad, show the respect you want.

There is a lot of dirty campaining going on here, hold on to your hope.

Big Brother:

Four words --

You F***'in' Rock, Dude!

Soli:

I'll go in reverse order.

I thought Clinton deserved impeachment for a variety of offenses that indicated a clear contempt for his office. Between vastly expanding executive privelige, siccing the IRS on his opponents, impeding a federal investigation and last but not least, perjuring himself, the man had no business running the country anymore.

As far as Kerry's positions go, as far as I can tell, he's essentially moved quite close to Bush's views. His foreign policy, as you stated, is essentially Bush-lite.

Furthermore, I feel that the best the Oval Office can hope to do in terms of the economy is stave off the worse. I do feel that the administration's aggressive economic policies, particularly the tax cuts, have had a stimulating effect that prevented a bad economic situation from becoming worse. How these policies will affect future generations remains to be seen. I am rather nervous about the increasing federal deficit, but given that we are in wartime, and reversing 10 years of DoD budget cuts, reductions in force, etc., this was perhaps inevitable. My major problem with Bush on this front is his refusal to even consider slowing the rate of growth for a host of overbearing federal programs, let alone trying to roll them back. I haven't heard anything from Kerry that suggests he will be an improvement on this front.

Also, there is much more to domestic policy than just the state of the economy. I fully admit that Kerry's views on social issues mirror my own far better than Bush. Yet on the issues that Bush gets hammered for, Kerry is once again his shadow. Kerry has, to my knowledge, supported the notion that marriage is heterosexual domain, though he doesn't appear to support the FMA. In terms of basic principles, there is no substantive difference between these views that I can see.

Looking at Kerry's website, his stances on immigration seem to leave little daylight between him and Bush. Expand opportunities to citizenship, stricter enforcement of our borders, expedite citizenship for members of the armed forces? I'm pretty sure Bush has supported similar initiatives.

In terms of domestic security, the only real difference I can see between the candidates is that Kerry is vowing to spend more money on local police and fire departments. Where the money will come from, he doesn't say. Why we need more firefighters to fight terrorists in East St. Louis, he doesn't say. Again, he is basically mirroring the current administration, while promising to take things one step further. Again, I see no substantive difference.

In health care, Kerry wants to build on Bush's "free drugs for selfish voting blocs" plan and expand it even further. Still, I'm not impressed.

The only real difference I've heard between Kerry and Bush on domestic policy that means anything at all is that Kerry wants to raise taxes on "the rich." Also, Kerry's own website lists a host of new federal programs and initiatives he wants to initiate. How this will balance the budget, he doesn't say. Again, I'm not impressed.

I'm sure you disagree, and I respect your views. As far as I can tell, I have a choice come November:

I can vote for a man who is a shameless panderer; who spends the public's money as if he were a frat boy in a strip club; who cannot relate to the average American for reasons of personal wealth; who got where he is today largely due to either luck or nepotism.

Or, I can vote for John Kerry, who is all of that plus just a little extra. My vote it still up for grabs, but the way things are going, I'll be voting for Bush in November.

While holding my nose.

Big Brother:

Four words --

You F***'in' Rock, Dude!

Indeed. Gives me hope.
Personally I have given up on trying to respond to people like Brad, but damn, that was well done.

BTW, nice blog Michele. Been reading for quite a while, felt like posting a comment for the first time.

I know exactly how you feel. Unfortunatly, I have kinda lost hope. I am now convinced that Bush will lose in Nov. (although seeing a post like Big Brother's does give me hope that the battle can still be won..maybe)

The only question remaining is how bad will it be under Kerry...

The left is all darkness and bile. You are so right, Michele.

The bitterness and hatred oozes out of leftist blogs, journals, magazines, TV commentators, and documentaries. Where does the left get all its hatred, its bizarre twisted madness?

You have to go to the source of leftist ideas, to the acid factory.

Leftist are almost never original. There are a few pseudo intellectuals, who take someone else's original ideas and brutally twist them into something distorted enough to be proudly displayed as "leftist."

You can find the distorters fairly easily, and of course the cloned mindless followers are everywhere you look. They come looking for you if you do anything to promote reality or truth.

The left says there is no reality or truth, so anyone who promotes these things must be attacked by any means necessary. It is not about fairness or balance. It is about destroying anyone who stands up to the decaying emptiness of the left.

You can either fight back or give up and rest. There's plenty of time to rest when you're dead. We hope you'll continue to find your own unique way of fighting for the good.

Michele, I think your blog is excellent and has opened my eyes to many interesting things. Please keep it up.

Brad: ease up. were not stupid, just in disagreement. For example, those history textbooks....I worked on some as a grad student. And Im a neocon!! Bottom line: stop the drama, accept what the site is and know that most of us dont think you an asshole.

They are like goth teens gone wild. Death, despair, life sucks because you made it that way.

(Just to inject a teensy bit of levity...) And now, even Ray Smuckles is getting in on the act over at Achewood. Damn, a world gone goth...

Gregory Litchfield,

In that case, I pretty much have to agree with you on almost everything. While I agree that Clinton was irresponsible in several areas, I don't think it rose to the level of high crimes against the nation. I also don't think either President Bush or John Kerry are going to have truly disasterous policies ... it's sort of Kerry and Kerry-lite on domestic and Bush and Bush-lite for foreign.

The one thing I am hoping for, which is why I am holding my nose and supporting Kerry, is that Congress will stay Republican and will go back to seeing massive spending increases as an issue to oppose.

You see everyone..you can talk about politics and still be reserved, polite and mutually respectful.

Soli and I can do it. I can do it with (some) of my friends. Why is this so damn hard for everyone?

Gregory and Soli, you are inspirations to many.

Now that's reason to hope.

I haven't read all the comments yet, but I want to give you my first impression of the image at "pleasevote" anti-Bush-site.

Using this image was not innocent. There was a huge uproar (here) when this image was used with Sharon's face on it.

The anti-Bushies are more and more infected by anti-Semitism .. some of it subtle, much of it blatant.

How about this quote from Ralph Nader:
What has been happening over the years is a predictable routine of foreign visitation from the head of the Israeli government. The Israeli puppeteer travels to Washington. The Israeli puppeteer meets with the puppet in the White House, and then moves down Pennsylvania Avenue, and meets with the puppets in Congress. And then takes back billions of taxpayer dollars. It is time for the Washington puppet show to be replaced by the Washington peace show.

The "anti-war" parades by ANSWER and NION are peppered with loads of images of Magen Davids morphed into swastikas. Lefty Michael Lerner was summarily kicked out of the "anti-war" coalition when he even tried to complain about the anti-Semitism. Come on, lefties. Let's see you explain the Judenhass.

Darleen: What really concerns me isn't that some of the fringe left are walking hand-in-hand with antisemites, but that so many members of the mainstream left chose to overlook that fact for reasons of political expediency.

I have relatively few pro-war friends. Many of my friends marched in anti-war demonstrations sponsored by ANSWER. They saw antisemitic material there, and did nothing about it. When I asked them about it, the typical response was something to the effect of, "Well, the right has their own freaks. And besides, who cares who sponsored the thing, we all want to end the war."

I asked a couple if they would attend antiwar rallies sponsored by the KKK or Aryan Brotherhood. Both groups have, after all, openly claimed allegiance with the extreme antiwar elements and Islamacist groups over a common hatred of Jews.

Strangely enough, they had no reasonable answer. I wouldn't attend a pro-war rally that the John Birchers were promoting. They are, after all, frikkin' crazy. I don't read the Washington Times (unless I can get a copy for free) because it's a part of the greater Moonie organization. And the Rev. Moon is completely batshit insane. Why is this such a hard concept? If you don't want to be tarred with antisemitism, stop hanging out with antisemites.

Yeesh.

My friend belongs to a union and on of 2 or 3 pubbies at his garage.

One person actually won't talk to him anymore.

He's putting up pro-W stuff on the board, ripped down every day, but that's OK.

My new bumpersticker - Annoy a liberal, work and be happy.

Michele, it's there some 60s phrase about don't drag me down w/your negativity? Don't bum me out?

Life is still good considering what we've been thru the past 4 years. We're having a party again on the 3rd. It's going to be good. People will be happy, and we will be happy on the 4th because we celebrate and remember our core. It's there and they're dinosaurs walking to extinction (sp.).

Read Roger Simon's blog about Simone Ledeen and read the posters.

If you've got a pic of Ronnie, look at it, he believed in you when you didn't believe in yourself - I'm only 2 years older than you.

I have finally come to the conclusion the left/world will only be happy when I'm as miserable as they are. Not going to happen.

Well, at least I have an upbeat blog title.

As for election, it's going to be about 3-4 million independents, libertarian Republicans, and Green-leaning Democrats in about 12 states decide it, and the poor bastards are being deluged with ads from both political parties. They're not going to be influenced by either fringe.

And, echoing Gregory L., I don't think there's going to be a huge quantum shift based on the Presidential vote. However, I am of the mind that divided government produces results, restraint, and hopefully consensus. Naturally, my vote is not among the 3-4 million previously listed, as I live in East Austin, Texas (extremely safe GOP state, extremely safe Democratic congressional district)

Why does the Club for Growth ad about "reality" and John Kerry and communism pop into my head when I read Brad?

Martek, watch fairmodel and the vegas odds, W isn't done yet. Start reading econopundit.

And Oraculations (Howard can be over the top every now and then) had this to say, he's in the market:

Oil A big plus: Look for a fall to $30 or less. Inventories are at all time highs, the charts are showing the bears taking over, with a blow off top at the end of May, the SPR (strategic reserves) are the highest in history too, around the world. Put option buying is huge. There is now more supply than demand. Gasoline prices will drop to $1.50 per gallon (without taxes) and look for the Dow to explode to at least 12,000 if oil drops below $30. Some "experts" (always be wary of those assholes) are looking at $25 crude. link

and of course, this, the dems worst nightmare:

Democrats claim Bush Saudi conspiracy to lower oil prices before election. Furious that gasoline prices have dropped, Dems demanding Special Prosecutor and formation of three committees ...........Developing link
---

Sit back and enjoy the ride.

Greg

I'm beginning to believe its not just ignoring. One of the internal conflicts the Left inflicts on itself is this weird "morality" that the "underdog" is inherently more moral than the powerful, regardless of any context. That Arabs have been unable to annihilate Israel (and all other Jews in the ME) and that their culture keeps them in the 7th century and Israel has survived and thrived makes Israel the immoral aggressor in the dogma of the Left. Leftists cannot help but feel ambivilance or even outright hostility towards the Jewish State because its people refuses their historical position as the world's whipping boy.

Judenhass is rampant amongst leftists.

Martek, watch fairmodel and the vegas odds, W isn't done yet. Start reading econopundit.

I used to believe that the internet was what was going to win this for Bush.

I felt that many people realized that the mainstream media was only showing a part of the picture, and that they had a great source of information at their fingertips that they could use to research and find the truth, as I have done.

Then one day I was talking to my Dad, and he started in on the 'Bush is Hitler' argument...talking about the 'big lie' as if Bush is making this whole terrorism threat up, and 9/11 didnt happen.

Im 35, married, have a couple of kids..I thought I knew my Dad, but that just stunned me.

There are far too many people who only get their news from the mainstream media, who just eat it up.

I still believe that the use of the internet will continue to grow, and will allow for a truly free exchange of ideas and information. It's just too little and too late for Bush. The propaganda is everywhere.

Perception is reality, and for many, their perceptions are created by a very biased media.

The actual facts on the economy and the situation in Iraq doesnt matter. It wont be covered, thus the majority of people will never know about it.

Thing is..Im not a huge supporter of Bush..I have many issues with him, most of them domestic policy issues, but I dont think I can take another person telling me that Bush claimed there was an imminent threat from Iraq, when all you need to do is go back and read the transcript of his SOTU speech before the Iraq war to realize he said we needed to stop Iraq before it became an imminent threat...

Yet this is repeated over and over and over again...

Sigh..Sorry...just venting some I guess.

I, for one, can never vote for George Walker Bush. Not over Iraq. Not even over the mess he has left in Afghanistan. It is that he continually and regularly insists that my rights are not worth preserving. The Patriot Act. The Gay Marriage amendment. I'm not gay, but if he will back that amendment, how long until he backs a forced conversion amendment. The fact that he won't allow protesters anywhere withing 2-5 miles when he makes an appearance. The fact that he continually degrades non-religious people with his "they aren't really citizens" rhetoric.

Kerry sucks, but he in no way is as bad as Bush has been.

You know what sucks? After 9/11, people started to talk "at" each other. Now both sides tend to talk down to each other. As the election grows near, the talk becomes shouts and no one can hear over the deafening roar. Until we resolve that basic communication problem, we're screwed I'm afraid.

Sandy P,

Speaking as a Dem, if I get a choice between keeping the economy bad for a small election advantage or making 15% on my investments in Dow explosion, I'll take the investements, thanks. If I feel guilty, I'll make a MoveOn donation to make up for it.

Darleen,

I thought we leftists were mind controlled by George Soros and Hollywood. Now we hate Jews? Sorry, I can't keep up with your black acid cloud.

Lisa - You're right about everyone talking 'at' each other..although I think it started in earnest during Clinton's 8 years. Particularly during the whole impeachment period..it really brought out the whole Us vs Them mentality. It has just gotten a whole lot worse since then.

Flaime - I agree about the Gay marriage amendment..its just wrong on so many levels. As for the patriot act, I have yet to see any real violations of civil rights created by that. In my research of it, it primarily extends existing law to deal with terrorist threats. Plenty of judicial oversight..I just dont get it. As for the 'they aren't really citizens' rhetoric, I havent seen that at all, could you provide an example?

FUCK OFF FREEPER BROWNSHIRTS BUSHMONKEY ZIONISTLOVER CAPITALISTPIGS OPPRESSORS IMPERIALISTS FUCK OFF FREEPER BROWNSHIRTS BUSHMONKEY ZIONISTLOVER CAPITALISTPIGS OPPRESSORS IMPERIALISTS FUCK OFF FREEPER BROWNSHIRTS BUSHMONKEY ZIONISTLOVER CAPITALISTPIGS OPPRESSORS IMPERIALISTS FUCK OFF FREEPER BROWNSHIRTS BUSHMONKEY ZIONISTLOVER CAPITALISTPIGS OPPRESSORS IMPERIALISTS FUCK OFF FREEPER BROWNSHIRTS BUSHMONKEY ZIONISTLOVER CAPITALISTPIGS OPPRESSORS IMPERIALISTS FUCK OFF FREEPER BROWNSHIRTS BUSHMONKEY ZIONISTLOVER CAPITALISTPIGS OPPRESSORS IMPERIALISTS

Michele,

Back to the original post, I think your despair speaks more of the the blogging milieu from which you get so much of your interaction than it does of the world outside. I have to assume this is just a bleak passing mood, and that you don't truly believe that the other 50.1% of this country is as black-hearted, hate-filled, and dishonest as you express.

Because, of course, we aren't. I'm as left-wing and as anti-Bush as they come. I'm also a husband, father, one-home/two-car-owner, and I spent the weekend painting my deck. I live in the Midwest, we have a cat, I mow my grass, I go to minor-league ballgames. We dig a lot of the same music.

I don't believe Bush is Evil, but I want him to lose in November. I don't want terrorists to attack again. I'm not particularly big on Kerry, and I wish Nader would disappear. I want Iraq to succeed. I believe there are Iraqis who are glad we came. I believe there are Iraqis who wish we'd leave. I don't believe any of it had much to do with the war on terror, and I don't agree with the way the war was sold, but I can't argue that Saddam was bad or that he shouldn't be gone. I'm hoping for the best, but I know there are long odds against it. If Bush was my man, I'd withhold judgment; he isn't, so I don't. But that doesn't mean I deny positives that exist, or pray for disastrous outcomes. Simply put, Iraq MUST succeed, and I hope it does.

Some of you will have already written me off; perhaps some of you will say, "Well, if you think that way, we may not agree with you, but you're not who we were talking about."

As Michele admitted, tacitly if not explicitly, there are ugly voices on both ends of the political spectrum. You who support the war do not stand for being lumped into the "Kill 'Em All" camp, and rightly so. It's equally unfair to suggest that all on the left are guilty of the "thought crimes" (for lack of a better term) that Michele cites here. It simply isn't true.

Believing the kind of generalizations made and agreed with here makes you as responsible for spreading the negativity as those you would accuse. I'm not saying it doesn't happen on the left: We all degrade the debate when we make blanket accusations based on the positions of an extreme few.

Of course, that's half the fun of blogging/commenting no matter which side your on, isn't it? Point fingers, make rash accusations, stake out inflexible positions, call people out to their face (but not really), get to sound all smart and sure of yourself, bring out the worst and most extreme in yourself and your opponents with sarcasm and insults? You see the worst of the left and the right in a forum like this, because that kind of bareknuckles debate is what it's all about, right?

Well, Michele doesn't sound like she's been having so much fun. I got into it with Big Brother last week, and it wasn't so much fun, either. I really believe what I believe, and he really believes what he believes, and we each said it about as well as we could, and got in a few cutting zingers, to boot. (Unfortunately, I don't have FOUR SHELVES OF HISTORY BOOKS--I have too many on baseball and punk rock). But neither of us changed the other's mind. Which is frustrating as hell, because this is stuff we all agree is really, really important.

Michele's post is so full of pessimism and hopelessness that she thinks it must be coming from someone else. But none of us can afford to get lazy and start slandering and dehumanizing the other side. Left and right accuse each other of all sorts of things, and we all get a charge when one of "ours" nails one of "theirs" with a real rip.

But to a certain extent--as Michele argues, even as she succombs to despair--we make our own reality. If you really think that everybody on my side of this line running through our country is guilty of everything Michele laid out here--and especially if you choose to in order to make it easier to believe what you believe--then you deserve to be depressed, for being so willing to believe that so many of your fellow Americans are such basement-dwelling losers.

We're not, and you know we're not. We're people just like you--honest, concerned Americans--and we have reasonable, incremental disagreements on large and small issues adding up to an ideology and an attitude, and in these times of fear and anger those differences have been blown all out of proportion because we think our world hangs in the balance. And who knows? Maybe it does.

The bottom line is that all of us have a responsibility for bringing this discussion back to reasonable ground. Michele has taken the first step in realizing she's miserable where things stand. The next step is to recognize that we all have a role in that.

What bothers me more than anything is the vast number of people who swear up and down that "the other side" is the negative one. THEIR side is the one of hope and light and goodness. THEIR side is the one that must stay strong and brave. "The other side" is nothing but a dark cloud that will be overcome.

Both "sides" say the exact same thing, but most of the time they don't even realize it. It's like two people staring the same picture, one convinced that it's a young girl, the other an old woman, both convinced that they're absolutely right, that they're friend is absolutely wrong.

I'm better than them. More open-minded. More positive. They hate. I love. They tear down. I build up. I give them facts and truth and reasoning while they resort to "denial and distorted truth."

And on and on. Both sides. Same words, more or less, same arguments.

Depeche Mode said it very well, decades ago: "People are people, so why should it be that you and I should get along so awfully?"

RKB is positive! proves you are scum!

One of the major reasons that this country is in the situation that it is in, is because of the political affiliations that people impose upon themselves; the "I'm a Republican..." or "I'm a Democrat..." "...like my Daddy was before me & his Daddy before that" situation.
It's in itself a very unhealthy environment for honest debate of everyday issues, having the effect of causing each side to blindly argue "their parties" side without looking at the issues as they themselves see them, as an individual. Why do people blindly vote for the same party they've always voted for? Because it's easy to not question on a daily basis your values and those of the leaders of the party you, and often your family, have always voted for.
Other countries don't tend to have this problem to the extent we have in this country. In other countries people switch their vote between parties from election to election depending on whom they truly believe will do they job they expect of them.
Until people stop placing themselves in blind partisan brackets then this country will continue to have the problems it has.
Bottom line is this...PEOPLE NEED TO THINK FOR THEMSELVES.

In addition, the electoral system is broken & needs fixing. A recent issue of BusinessWeek magazine covers the issue excellently and is a captivating read even though my above views are not covered. It's a non partisan article & can be found at
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/toc/04_24/B38870424vote.htm

Please check it out, we all need to demand true and thorough electoral reform so that each persons vote truly is counted, unlike now.

(Unfortunately, I don't have FOUR SHELVES OF HISTORY BOOKS--I have too many on baseball and punk rock).

Well, I've also got two bookshelves filled with science-fiction, novels, literature, and some manga, a set of the Harvard Classics, and two sets of Encyclopedia Britannica, not to mention a small shelf in my office filled with gaming books and a desk hutch filled with books on education.

What can I say, I'm a rabid book collector. In fact, I just bought three more today, and have a set of "The Annals of America" from e-Bay that should be arriving tomorrow.

Now, where to put the new arrivals...

Stu is correct. Damn those Founders and their slaveholding racist Constitution.

We need to be enlightened (like Europe). Maybe we can get up to 5 Republics like France some day (maybe not, we Americans are idiots! ask Mr. Moore!)

pk...thanks for a thoughtful post. The problem is that these people aren't just on the extremes anymore. Mainstream Democratic leaders are giving their de facto endorsement to Moore's movie. Mainstream liberal media are using their economic power (and their government-issued licenses) in ways that seriously reduce the chances of a favorable outcome in Iraq or elsewhere in the Middle East.

PK's post is the most intelligent thing I've read on this blog (or any blog) in months.

The problem is self-selecting information and digital media. Cass Sunstein nailed this years ago: as people increasingly gain the ability to choose their own sources of information they cluster in groups that agree with each other and become more and more extreme in their opinions. Sorry Martek. Its actually going to be the opposite of what you hoped.

You know what, I'm as leftwing as anyone who regularly reads this site, but I feel the same way about lefty blogs. Go to the internet for new information you didn't know ... if you can trust it. Go there to organize politically. Go there to be surrounded by people who agree with you and make your opinions feel validated. But don't go there to change your mind much, or have a respectful, intelligent conversation. For that, you might want to talk to a real human being.

Sorry Martek. Its actually going to be the opposite of what you hoped.

I disagree. I think for adults now, the problem of self-selecting their sources of info is very real, but for the younger generation, who are growing up with access to the internet, it wont be that much of a problem. Kinda a gut feeling here..I dont have anything to back that up, maybe just faith in our kids or something..

At least I hope it wont be a problem...if it does go the way you describe it, then as one poster said above, we're screwed.

As for not going to the internet to change your mind..well, I have had my mind changed more by researching stuff on the net, then by talking to people.

These days, people either agree with me or disagree with me, but can generally never support either side. They just have an opinion and nothing to really back it up.

Kinda scary really.

David Foster-- At the risk of sinking into the usual mire after all that high-mindedness, Michael Moore is no more irresponsible or extreme than Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Joe Scarborough, or Michael Savage. Both sides embrace extreme rhetoric, both to motivate their bases and to rake in cash from eager audiences and advertisers. It's no more or less reasonable for Democrats to applaud Moore than for Cheney to appear on Fox and brag about telling Leahy to fuck himself.

> Mainstream liberal media are using their economic power (and their government-issued licenses) in ways that seriously reduce the chances of a favorable outcome in Iraq or elsewhere in the Middle East.

Complaining that the media is negative is like complaining that it's hot in the desert. It's part of the given conditions. A year ago, the media was cheerleading; now, the media is handwringing. When you've got a war that was undertaken this way, with outcomes as uncertain as they remain, media negativity isn't a conspiracy, just a fact of life.

I think about September 11, 2001. I remember the terror, the fear, the overwhelming grief, some of which is still with me today. Two and half years later, there has not been another attack on US soil.

Accurate as ever...

That Arabs have been unable to annihilate Israel (and all other Jews in the ME) and that their culture keeps them in the 7th century and Israel has survived and thrived makes Israel the immoral aggressor in the dogma of the Left.

Nope - that Israel occupies other people's lands and is engaging in slow ethnic cleansing makes them an immoral aggressor. The Arabs do tend to be pathologically fucked up - but that doesn't excuse the settlements, the annexation of land, and the slow daily squeezing of the Palestinians out of their land. Israel is not "protecting" itself any more than Serbia was "protecting" itself in Kosovo.

And, let's face it, the main reason you people resent leftists presenting ackward facts here is because you've become used to the Little Green Echo Chamber effect.

What does Michael Moore do when confronted with positive developments in Iraq? He throws back a negative or changes the subject. I think he's a pretty good example of what Michele's talking about. My guess would be you'd get the same reaction from Janeane Garofalo -- a snipe or a sidestep. Or both.

Are there people on the right with blinders on? Absolutely. I'm no Bush Kool-Aid drinker. If Joe Lieberman or Scoop Jackson's reanimated corpse were the nominee, a D would get my vote -- Bush is making lots of mistakes, and I'll readily admit that. Our current fiscal posture is a disaster. I'm just convinced that if we elect a man with such questionable resolve as Kerry's, that resolve will be tested in a spectacular way. Kerry was deadly-unserious about the last major threat to the world, and he's unserious now. He's completely lacking in political courage, and his party is furiously laying the groundwork to render him blame-free for any terrible Iraq decisions he might make as President.

OTOH, sometimes I think Bush has more courage than sense.

pk, I happened to see the interview with Cheney on Fox. He was not bragging. Please play it straight.

Personally, using strong rhetoric (on either side of the political spectrum) puts me right off. But Moore is a bald-faced liar. I think that makes a big difference.

And, let's face it, the main reason you people resent leftists presenting ackward facts here is because you've become used to the Little Green Echo Chamber effect.

You're implying that Michele bans posters who disagree with her here?

Just a question for the "good news" crowd - the occupation authorities promised 2,300 construction projects in Iraq. How many of those do you think are actually underway?

Just a question for the "good news" crowd

Hey, thanks, Phoenician, you just reminded me: Michele, when are you gonna implement a policy of auto-deleting comments from anonymous cowards who leave fake e-mail addresses?

I mean while we're asking questions of the good-news crowd and all.

Michael Moore is a good leftist. He is representative of the left today. You might call him a prototype of the left.

Just a question for the "good news" crowd - the occupation authorities promised 2,300 construction projects in Iraq. How many of those do you think are actually underway?

(snort cough)

Um, 7! 50,000! Abraham Lincoln! Romeo and Juliet!

No, teacher, I wasn't sleeping.

(Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I give you exhibit #1 in exactly the kind of person Michele was talking about: Phoenician!!!)

Re: Big Brother

Heh heh - he said "Annal" heh snort!

You're implying that Michele bans posters who disagree with her here?

Sorry if I implied that - that's going too far.

Actually the Echo Chamber effect does occur all over the place - I gotta dig out the bits on "groupthink" from my old Business Communication notes. There are specific techniques for dealing with it.

Hey, thanks, Phoenician, you just reminded me: Michele, when are you gonna implement a policy of auto-deleting comments from anonymous cowards who leave fake e-mail addresses?

I refer you to James Carse's "Finite and Infinite Games", especially the bits about names. Well worth a read on its own merits.

Oh, and Big Brother - I notice you didn't actually address the question, what with all the sneering and all. It's not that difficult - the answer was in the New York Times. Of the 2,300 construction projects promised by the Coalition to the Iraqis, how many do you think are actually underway?

Hey Pheony

Thanks for making your stance on Israel known. You think Israel is "ethnically" cleansing the land that was "rightfully occupied by other people." (do ignore the ethnic cleansing of 300,000 Arab-"Palestinians" from Kuwaiit in the early 1990's)

Let's just ignore that two of the three major wars against Israel were launched to annihilate Israel, not "liberate Arabs". Let's ignore that there has never been a nation of "Palestine", indeed, until the modern state of Israel was born, "Palestinians" were JEWS of the area. Let's ignore that to be an Arab-Israeli is to have the right to vote, to be elected to the Knesset and live in a free democratic society, and to be a Jew in the proposed state of Palestine..wait..there are to be NO Jews in Palestine..it is to be Judenrein!

But, I digress. Thanks for making it clear how you feel. Let me just ask one question, is it all Jews you hate, or just the ones in Israel?

The problem is self-selecting information and digital media

Oooo... smacks of the fear and loathing exhibited by the editor of the LA Times because [gasp] people aren't kissing his ass as much..his power to shape by exclusive control of what news HE sees fit to print is slip, slip slipping.....

Smacks of old Sovietness... registering of typewriters and licensing of copy machines. Gotta control that info!

For the "common good" of course (Hillary speak)

Thanks for making your stance on Israel known. You think Israel is "ethnically" cleansing the land that was "rightfully occupied by other people."

Nope. I said the land belonged to other people, and that Israel was engaged in a slow ethnic cleansing - essentially forcing people off the land by hemming them in and denying them the means to live (such as water) (and sometimes by faster means.

(do ignore the ethnic cleansing of 300,000 Arab-"Palestinians" from Kuwaiit in the early 1990's)

Why should I ignore it? The Palestinians have been kicked around by everybody, much like the Kurds.

But, I digress. Thanks for making it clear how you feel. Let me just ask one question, is it all Jews you hate, or just the ones in Israel?

Your one question cannot be answered, since it contains too many false assumptions. I can demonstrate this simply by asking an analogous question of you, Darleen - do you attempt to gouge out and stomp on the eyeballs of all men everywhere, or only those who happen to disagree with you?

But thank you for demonstrating why the reflexive warcry of "anti-semitism" should be taken with a grain of salt, especially in relation to critics of Israel's policies...

Oh, and Big Brother - I notice you didn't actually address the question, what with all the sneering and all. It's not that difficult - the answer was in the New York Times. Of the 2,300 construction projects promised by the Coalition to the Iraqis, how many do you think are actually underway?

Not many. Less than 140, from the source I read.

Of course, that SAME source stated that the Pentagon committed another 1.4 billion to the proccess. You didn't mention that.

In any case, what's your point? I mean that, seriously. Because construction is proceeding at a pace you would like, that the whole Iraq situation is somehow... what?

This is EXACTLY what Michele was talking about, Phoenician. Relentless negativism. Nothing is ever good enough. It's not REALLY about Iraqi reconstruction at all. I'm guessing you couldn't care less about that, at least in the grand scheme of things. It's about provig to everyone what a mistake the Iraq war was. You don't mention the GOOD things going on in Iraq.

Just the bad.

So let me ask YOU some questions: how many thousand have been slaughtered by Saddam Hussein since the end of the war? How many schools have been opened? How many newspapers have been opened?

We can play this game all day. You come up with some negative statistics, and I come up with some positive ones. Nothing is gained; the truth as always, lies somewhere in the middle. And the truth is that there are good things going on in Iraq as well as bad things. Your posts focus on the bad.

Fine. Then I'll focus on the good.

Michele has posted links to a few Iraqi blogs. Please feel free to go tell them what you've told us. I'm sure they'll be most impressed.

Phoeny

Israel is not "ethnically cleansing" anyone. Starting with such a baldfaced lie leaves you no credibility no matter how much you try and equivocate on "occupied land."

The PA/Hamas/Hezbollah/Islamic Jihad/et al motto is "from river to sea, Palestine will be free"

Judenrein

The morality is clear. Israel is now the World's Jew and the figleaf of "I'm not anti-Jew, just anti-Zionist" now is as credible as "I was just an Austrian ski-instructor" in 1945.

ah yes, we should blame the Jew. After all, it's worked for centuries.

Times like this, I often think back to that love ballad from Harry Nilsson, "You're breaking my heart".

In any case, what's your point? I mean that, seriously. Because construction is proceeding at a pace you would like, that the whole Iraq situation is somehow... what?

FUBARred.

So let me ask YOU some questions: how many thousand have been slaughtered by Saddam Hussein since the end of the war? How many schools have been opened? How many newspapers have been opened?

There's an analogy someone once made apropos here.

Imagine a big meat grinder. Imagine feeding, say, 30,000 Iraqis into it, along with 850 Americans. Imagine taking the resulting mince made from human flesh and feeding it to starving Ethopians.

That's an analogy for how protesters see the war. And imagine that every time they pointed out how insane this whole Operation Human Mincing was, people such as yourself accused them of wanting Ethopians to starve.

Iraq isn't free. Iraq's future isn't secure. And if it collapses into civil war, as it is likely to do, then the result will make Saddam's regime look utopian by comparison.

And the responsibility for that will lie on the Bush Administration and those who supported the war.

Israel is not "ethnically cleansing" anyone. Starting with such a baldfaced lie leaves you no credibility no matter how much you try and equivocate on "occupied land."

Uh-huh:

"Sharon himself called for “territorial contiguity” between Kiryat Arba, a settlement overlooking Hebron, the tiny Zionist enclaves and the Tomb of the Patriarchs, a religious site venerated by both Moslems and Jews, inside the city. Palestinians living between the settlement, the enclaves and the Tomb would be forced to leave their homes to make way for the settlers—a policy known throughout the world as ethnic cleansing. He told army commanders in Hebron that Israel had to “take advantage of the opportunity” to “minimise the number of Palestinians living among Jewish settlers” and establish “Jewish points of presence”. He described this as “an appropriate Zionist response” to such attacks.

Sharon’s newly appointed foreign affairs minister and main leadership rival, Benyamin Netanyahu, was even more explicit. “We are going to cleanse the whole area and do the work ourselves.” he declared."

The morality is clear. Israel is now the World's Jew and the figleaf of "I'm not anti-Jew, just anti-Zionist" now is as credible as "I was just an Austrian ski-instructor" in 1945.

You're only saying that to justify your habit of gouging out men's eyeballs and stomping on them, Darleen. It is not me equating these specific policies of Israel, a single nation-state, with Jews or Judism.

Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

Phoeny is even clearer now

Saddam should have stayed in power, because it was stable. Hitler at least, whipped inflation and gave his people a purpose in life! Mussolini made the trains run on time! Pol Pot found a solution to over-population!

And if Iraq doesn't immediately resemble a Methodist cover-dish meeting in the church basement..well, It's Bush's faaauuullltt!

There are only two races in the world..the decent and the indecent...and Phoeny has chosen the latter for himself.

feh

If you're still having a problem distinguishing between anti-semitism and criticising specific policies of Israel, Darleen, I suggest you consider these people.

I'd call them a noble example, myself. According to your lights, they must be anti-semitic, yes?

Saddam should have stayed in power, because it was stable.

I thought you people were supposed to know history.

Iraq, 1958.

Great post, Michele. Fortunately for us all, the left has overplayed their hand, and overlooked the sanity check most people perform when evaluating any news, good or bad.

People can only take so much constant negativity before they begin to filter it out. This isn't because they're dumb or ignorant, it's because most people instictively realize that things just cannot possibly be as unrelentingly terrible as they're being told it is. They know they're missing something. Not sure what, maybe, but something. It's up to all of us to tell them what it is.

For many, 9/11 was deserved, America's "just deserts".. a poet who wouldn't let her daughter fly the American flag, the Palestinians who went into the streets and cheered, the Arab press who both said "about time" and "it was the work of Mossad, Jews were warned, Jews got out." From M.Moore, Ted Rall, Noam Chomsky ... who tried to eek a "it was tragic BUT.." to all the usual suspects who are embarrassed to be Americans and want to MoveOn...

REAL live people died that day, and they deal with it still

Love In A Time Of Danger

What is all the brouhaha over the Gay Marriage Amendment?

Anyone remember the ERA?

---

Soli, come on, you're not going to feel guilty. You gonna to save it or spend it, if it happens? Besides, MO's got Soros' money, you can put your money to use somewhere else with more bang for your buck.

Phoeny

That those reservists have the freedom to criticize the policies of their government is just more proof of the morality of Israel.

What happens to Pals who don't agree with Arafat's genocidal policies from the Pal side? They are dragged into the street and summarily executed as "collaborators." Just as gay Pals escape into Israel every day to avoid being murdered.

You only prove my point. The Left condemns Israel as "immoral" aggressors because of their success.. same as Jews have always been scapegoated because of their success as a people.

Hamas is dedicted to the annihilation of Jews. So it Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, Al Asqa Brigade. They do so by blowing up school children, teenagers in discos, shoppers in malls, worshipers leaving temple. The PA promotes this death cult, producing TV shows and ads inculcating Pal children to "martyr" themselves, to kill Jews wherever they find them. It celebrates 9/11, "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" and "Mein Kampf" are best sellers, they name soccer teams and streets after murderers of Jews. And this FILTH, this EVIL is encouraged by the Left because of their own warped morality that to oppose Israel is to oppose America. They now deal in Neocon/Zionist conspiracies, or, like Ralph Nader, speak of America as Israel's "puppet." Anti-Semitism is now accepted amongst the far left, even as the right expelled Pat Buchanan and David Duke. Jews are being targeted in France, Belgium..and other EU countries, usually by Islamist youth who feel free to terrorize Jewish communities due to the apathy or incipient historical anti-Semitism (a word coined by Germans to give a scientific patina to Jew-hatred).

Never again.

--The actual facts on the economy --

But they watch their 401Ks like the elderly watch their 5-10 bingo cards in FLA.....

--FUCK OFF FREEPER BROWNSHIRTS BUSHMONKEY ZIONISTLOVER CAPITALISTPIGS OPPRESSORS IMPERIALISTS---

But I'm having too much fun, so gotta decline.

Besides, you're not my type.

That those reservists have the freedom to criticize the policies of their government is just more proof of the morality of Israel.

Very good, Darleen. Israel is, however imperfect, a fully fledged liberal democracy and as much heir to the traditions of such as any of the West (or rest of the West, depending on how you count these things). Then again, the same could have been said about apartheid era South Africa.

Now, would you care to say something related to the point I actually made?

"If you're still having a problem distinguishing between anti-semitism and criticising specific policies of Israel, Darleen, I suggest you consider these people."

Did the NYT article say how many projects were completed?

I swear I read more than once that all clinics/hospitals are opened for business. Or are all those considered 1 project?

Phoeny says: Israel = apartheid South Africa (after saying Israel is immoral compared to the "Palestinians" because Israel is the "aggressor")

Darleen says to Phoeny: What Cheney said.

Phoeny says: Israel = apartheid South Africa

Got a quote on that?

(after saying Israel is immoral compared to the "Palestinians" because Israel is the "aggressor")

Got a quote on that?

Didn't think so.

Phoney,

YOU DIDN'T ANSWER MY QUESTIONS.

Instead, you gave me a bunch of hypotheticals ("And if it collapses into civil war, as it is likely to do, then the result will make Saddam's regime look utopian by comparison.) and evasions.

That's pretty much what I thought you we're going to say. You aren't interested in what's really going on in Iraq; you're just trying to score anti-Bush points.

I'm done with you. Good day to you, sir.

That's pretty much what I thought you we're going to say. You aren't interested in what's really going on in Iraq; you're just trying to score anti-Bush points.

...it wasn't obvious the last time he was pulling his "just a simple question" tactic?

It's not that I think you're wrong, Michelle. It's just that I have a hard time swallowing a call for optimism and civility from the woman who writes this about people who disagree with her:

"You are a pathetic prick." "I wish you misery, asshole." "Thank you, fuckwit."

I could go on and on. But if you ever---EVER!---think the left is being too negative, then click that link on the left-hand column of your blog marked "Micah Wright."

Don Meyers:
It's not that I think you're wrong, Michelle. It's just that I have a hard time swallowing a call for optimism and civility from the woman who writes this about people who disagree with her:

(snip quotes about Micah Wright)

It's not that I think you're being dishonest, Don. It's just that I wonder why you apply Michele's reaction to a pathological liar like Wright as typical of what she says about those who disagree with her.

You might as well try to portray what she said about the child killer she mentioned in another post as "typical" of how she response to people who disagree with her. It would be just as honest.

Actually, those quotes were't from the Micah posts, Patrick. Although in all fairness I can see why you assumed they are.

The fact is that blind partisan bitchery is fairly common on this sight (as is Michelle's contsitutionally protected right, of course). I just thought she was being disengenuious, and said so.

Well, let's have some context, Don. Where are those quotes from? If you were able to pull exact quotes of mine, I'm sure you'll know the posts to find them in.

From April 24---the Pat Tillman post

James Hudnall over at Blog-o-Rama posted a great essay on why leftism is "Politics for the Depressed."
It's becoming more clear to me now why I find leftism so unappealing. It's politics for the depressed. If you understand the psychology of an abused person, you'll know that the abuser feeds the insecurities and despair of the victim in order to manipulate and use them. Therefore, the leftist elites maintain a constant barrage of doom, gloom and angst. They make pronouncements of horrible injustices, environmental destruction or evil crimes. But they make sure to they accuse heap their scorn on the power structure here. Its important for them to destabilize their enemy's power base. These elites are less concerned with external enemies and are more concerned with those who oppose their aims. Hence we get a steady litany of woe and despair that we're supposed to feel outraged over.
RTWT.

Politics for the Depressed

Good news from Iraq.

Now, all together - "We only went in there to help the Iraqis..."

Leftists are rather dullwitted. That's what drove me away from the left years ago. I was quite committed to the left at one time, but most of them are zombies and I couldn't hang with that.

Whoever said leftists are copycats was so right. They have "cut and paste" brains.

Leftists are rather dullwitted. That's what drove me away from the left years ago. I was quite committed to the left at one time, but most of them are zombies and I couldn't hang with that.

Uh-huh.

Political conservatism as motivated social cognition.

Jost JT, Glaser J, Kruglanski AW, Sulloway FJ

Analyzing political conservatism as motivated social cognition integrates theories of personality (authoritarianism, dogmatism-intolerance of ambiguity), epistemic and existential needs (for closure, regulatory focus, terror management), and ideological rationalization (social dominance, system justification). A meta-analysis (88 samples, 12 countries, 22,818 cases) confirms that several psychological variables predict political conservatism: death anxiety (weighted mean r = .50); system instability (.47); dogmatism-intolerance of ambiguity (.34); openness to experience (-.32); uncertainty tolerance (-.27); needs for order, structure, and closure (.26); integrative complexity (-.20); fear of threat and loss (.18); and self-esteem (-.09). The core ideology of conservatism stresses resistance to change and justification of inequality and is motivated by needs that vary situationally and dispositionally to manage uncertainty and threat.

That study is tripe.

Nice try though, it looked very "credible", "scholarly" and "official".

A couple of leftist "academics" trying to say "Conservatives are dumb, liberals are smart."

The thing is, you don't need a comprehensive study to show how brainwashed, dishonest and idiotic the leftists have become.

Just watch them and listen to what they say and it's obvious.

I see this conversation has degenerated into a big name calling fest. Which, I believe, is evidence of the basic proiblem with politics today: a decided lack of civility and respect for anyone who disagrees with you.
I will say, I cannot vote for Bush. I think he is a poor leader. However, Kerry is no more appealing. Once again, we have the choice between the lesser of two evils. For me, that question comes down to which of these unsavory men is least likely to force their personal beliefs upon me as law? Unfortunately for the centrists, that person is Kerry, it would appear.
And then, in 4 years, maybe a presidential candidate will appear that is actually worth voting for (I'm sure as hell not going to vote for Hillary). But I doubt it will happen, so it will be the lesser of two evils again.

"Now, all together - "We only went in there to help the Iraqis...""

Another market for Iraqi oil is NOT helping the Iraqi people?

I'm so confused. I thought more market opportunity was a GOOD thing for any society!

No doubt, if I lean a little more to the left and look again, I will see things more clearly.

Thanks for helping Pheonician.

CBK